Productive and Receptive Skills in the ESL Classroom - Games In The Classroom

 

Throughout section on the teaching of productive skills and the teaching of receptive skills our activate activities will usually involve some form of game and our final consideration here will be the use of games in the classroom. We can start with a definition of what we actually mean by a game and it basically has three components. A game is an activity that has rules it should have for its purpose in the classroom a teaching point and by nature to the fact that it's a game it should also include an element of fun. So that will be our working definition for a game that we're going to use in the classroom. There are many different types of games and they range between the competitive and those will require cooperation and there are all sorts of games that involve both of these together. So, what we'll do is to consider two well-known games from a long list that we could give, such as Scrabble, Monopoly, Tic-Tac-Toe, Jeopardy, and so on and so forth. We'll have a look at those two games and see how they can be adapted for classroom use.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

Unit 11 took a close look at the purposes of effective English Language receptive skills. When, as instructors, we understand the objectives from different types of engagement with language we can teach what I call layers of engagement with language. In the reading we look at ways of engaging with language that include purpose (for example, entertainment, general knowledge, social, intensive study etcetera) and the end results for each. The bottom line is how you engage with different media changes depending on the goal and as instructor I need to teach students how to shift from reading the headline to intensive study. The core receptive skills we addressed in the unit are Predictive, Scanning, Skimming, Seeking Detailed Information and Deduction. ? Predictive Skills are used when reading, say, the title of a book to determine the basic contents and if its something you want to read. ? Scanning is used when looking for only a small piece of data within a larger (sports score buried in the sports section of the newspaper). ? Skimming would be when you read through the first chapter of a book to see if you can get a feel for the beginning of a story, or reading a chapter from a textbook to get the general idea before seriously studying it. ? Students read to seek ?detailed information? when you want to absorb small details. For example, needing to get directions to a destination, or learning a recipe correctly. ? Deduction from context is where the basic learning of vocabulary ?words? intersects with conversation. It is where students string pieces of vocabulary together to find meaning and as syntax and structure are not identical, the meaning of the entire sentence moves beyond the literal vocabulary words. For example, if you see a sign that reads ?City Bus Lane? a student needs to then know that this means that they cannot drive in that lane with their car. It requires thinking, understanding and applying to real learned and active experiences. Challenges to learning receptive skills can involve pre-existing vocabulary skills (and limitations) and the instructor?s choice in materials (comfortable, challenging, too challenging) among other things. To address that potential issue an instructor can pre-teach new vocabulary, carefully select texts that are of interest to and appropriate for their students. A teacher needs to create a comfortable learning environment, find materials that are fun and engaging for students and that are tied to the texts. This unit provided an excellent example of a straight arrow ESA (engage ? study ? activate) lesson with each phase and appropriate exercises provided for each stage.


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